(1906 - 1989)
"Nothing matters but the writing. There has been nothing else worthwhile... a stain upon the silence."

Dublin born Samuel Barclay Beckett wrote six novels, four long plays and dozens of shorter ones, collections of short stories, poetry and essays, radio and television plays, and prose pieces he called residua and disjecta.   His work is read and enacted worldwide and his accomplishments were acknowledged in 1969 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature“for his writing, which – in new forms for the novel and drama – in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation”

He spent two years in Paris as an English lecturer during the late 1920s, where he met James Joyce, who was to have a profound effect on the young writer.  After briefly returning to Dublin to teach at Trinity he finally settled in Paris in 1937, by which time he had already published a collection of short stories, poems and a novel.  He chose to stay in France during WWII, during which time he and his wife joined the French Resistance.  For this and for his work with the Irish Red Cross, Beckett was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Medaille de Resistance.  By now thoroughly immersed in the French way of life, Beckett started to write entirely in French and the following fifteen years saw him produce what are generally thought of as his greatest works.  A modernist, like his early hero Joyce,  Beckett developed themes of despair and survival in a blackly comic manner, often referred to as the Theatre of the Absurd.  His best known play, and a cornerstone of modern  theatre,  Waiting for Godot, is  ''a masterpiece that will cause despair for men in general and for playwrights in particular.'' (Jean Anouilh) 

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